Mediterranean Shipping Company – Reflections

3 weeks ago, I worked my last day at MSC, the company where I had my first full time position post-graduation. As a member of the VIP Exports department, I learned a great deal about the inner workings of a steamship line. It was my introduction to the industry of shipping and logistics. Although my job was somewhat repetitive, the atmosphere at my department was fun. We joked around, ate and brought each other snacks, and complained about our customers. I was very much enjoying it until I learned that my coworkers were uncomfortable with my personality, and had brought it to my manager. It was quite the disappointment to learn that indeed, I didn’t fit in to the company, just as I suspected. Some months later I also found out that my closest coworkers, whom sat next to and spoke to for 8 hours every day, 5 days every week, were speaking ill of me in between themselves.

More than hurt, I felt frustration. I was under the impression that I was at a mature workplace, where grievances are brought to the person in question before involving management, especially when the issue is so simple. These instances that made me feel unwelcome added to the already growing list of things that were pushing me out of MSC. The job itself was not a good fit for me. Although I learned a lot, my strengths weren’t utilized, and my weaknesses were highlighted. My contributions weren’t valued or recognized. The compensation reflected the fact that to the company, I was to be a drone. An extension of our internal system as opposed to a unique member of the company. I was to operate at the lowest level of intellectual exercise.

Whenever I would get the opportunity to work on a project independently, where I was trusted to get the job done on my own to the best of my abilities, I excelled. However this only really occurred twice. Every stat for my work for the day was monitored, so I always felt like there was someone looking over my shoulder despite how good my performance was. Over time, this sapped me of every morsel of motivation I might have been able to muster.

As my first position out of college, it was alright. But when I was recruited to take another position at a new logistics company, with higher compensation and a promotion, it was a no-brainer. So I gave my notice on August 21st.

Overall, I learned many things during my 14 months at MSC.

  1. The people you work with are just as important, if not more so than the actual job you’re doing. If you don’t feel like a valued part of the team you’re in, you won’t be able to contribute fully and confidently.
  2. Competition in the workplace is bound to happen. I was really hoping this wouldn’t be the case, and the atmosphere would be more collaborative than competitive, but such is life.
  3. Some jobs are more professional than others, just like some people are more professional than others. Find a good fit.
  4. You don’t have to love everything about what you’re doing, you just have to love the way in which you get to do it.
  5. Work is work, and hobbies are hobbies. It’s actually wiser to keep them separate to make sure your hobbies never feel like work and you get to keep loving them and exercising them whenever inspiration strikes.
  6. I love working with numbers! Setting up data and manipulating algorithms was never something I expected to enjoy, but I did. I definitely look forward to delving deeper into data analysis over the next year, hopefully obtaining an actual certificate to add to my credentials.

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